"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Remember The Alamo

Even if they came close to ending the series in Anaheim and likely feel a little bit diminished about having to crank things back up in the Bronx prior to the World Series, the Yankees have to feel pretty comfortable heading into tonight’s Game Six up three games to two in the ALCS with CC Sabathia lurking to pitch Game Seven if necessary. The have to because the only other option invites the ghosts of 2004 to mingle with old dames Mystique and Aura, who are still hanging their inspirational posters in the new Yankee clubhouse.

There are only five Yankees, and no coaches, remaining from the 2004 team that blew a 3-0 lead in the ALCS against the Red Sox–Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, and Alex Rodriguez–but it surely lingers in the minds of Johnny Damon, who was on the other side of that collapse, and Andy Pettitte, who spent October 2004 in Texas, nursing his surgically repaired pitching elbow and likely wishing he could have taken the ball for his old mates in the disastrous Game Seven.

Pettitte gets his chance tonight, looking to put the Yankees into the World Series for the first time since 2003, the final year of his initial run with the team. Alex and I both expect Pettitte to come up big, but the fact that the Yankees are 0-5 in their last two ALCS in potential series-clinching games will linger in my mind until they put a “1″ in the win column there.

Pettitte’s start tonight will be his first home start of this postseason. Pettitte struggled at the new Yankee Stadium early in the regular season. On May 7, in his third start at the new park, he gave up four home runs in six innings in a loss to the Rays. In his previous start, he had allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Angels in a game the Yankees came back to win. However, Pettitte seemed to finally settle in at the new digs down the stretch. In four home starts in August and September, he posted a 2.52 ERA and compiled this line: 25 IP, 22 H, 7 R, 11 BB, 20 K. Yes, the walks were a bit high, but he allowed just one home run in those four starts, a seventh-inning solo shot by David Murphy.

Joe Saunders is the man charged with extending the Angels’ season. Saunders pitched very well, and very similarly, in his last two starts against the Yankees, September 21 in Anaheim (8 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 HR, 0 BB, 3 K), and in Game Two of this series in the Bronx (7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 5 K). With that ALCS start included, Saunders is 7-0 with a 2.56 ERA in nine starts since returning from a disabled-list stay due to a tired pitching shoulder.

Despite a tendency to overmanage in other areas thus far this series, Joe Girardi is running out his standard lineup tonight, complete with Nick Swisher batting in his usual eight spot. The only question now is if they’ll get the game in. They’ll try, primarily to avoid facing Jered Weaver and John Lackey in the final two games. At this point in the postseason, I doubt there’s much risk of losing gate due to a one-day delay.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread

Tags:  2009 Playoffs  ALCS

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28 comments

1 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:10 pm

What's it doing in the Bronx right now? Anyone?

2 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:10 pm

posted in the last thread too - but game postponed to sunday at 8pm

3 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:13 pm

Oh, fuck.

Of course.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

4 Rich   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:15 pm

This may boost Pettitte's velo a mph or two.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:18 pm

Next patient...

This has no impact on game 6, but in game 7, it could allow the Angels to come back with Lackey on 3 days rest. Also, CC could probably use an extra day after starting on three days rest.

I kind of like the reprieve...I know not everyone believes in momentum, but I think this further delay helps to stem the Angels' tide.

6 RIYank   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:35 pm

[5] Yes, I'd be very surprised if there were a Game Seven without Lackey.
And if Pettitte pitches Game Six, I agree that the extra day couldn't hurt. (Imagine if it were Mussina, though? He'd be a wreck.)

7 RIYank   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:36 pm

In [6] when I said I agreed about Pettitte, I mean to be agreeing with Rich [4].

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:40 pm

Bagels, coffee, pastry, juice, blanket and pillow all prepared for this morning..and no game?
:_(

9 Rich   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:41 pm

[8] How are the bagels there?

10 rbj   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:42 pm

Dang, now I have to find something to do for a Saturday night.

11 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:43 pm

[8] yeah had my saturday night planned around this as i am sure many did

oh well

12 The Hawk   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:43 pm

[5] I like that william likes this. As the man with the blackest thoughts here, I feel like you're a canary in a coalmine for the barest whiffs of bad vibes. So if you're relaxing a bit, then I will too

13 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:46 pm

I think this can be a good thing

extra day of rest for Andy

kinda cuts down on the Angels' momentum (Thursday will feel like 6 months ago by 8 o'clock Sunday)

the crowd tomorrow night will be amped up in good weather, not subdued by downpours and umbrellas

14 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:55 pm

[12] Heh heh heh! Indeed!

15 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:59 pm

[13] make that 8:20pm - guess fox has to get their post-game nfl show in

[2] [14] :}

16 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:59 pm

[9] I got out of my way to get real ones from a bakery. They're sold at several places but often too small and pasty.

17 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 24, 2009 6:59 pm

Damn weather

18 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:00 pm

[15] should be [12] - interesting philosophy hawk

19 Rich   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:01 pm

Would anyone consider pitching CC in Game 6?

20 rbj   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:04 pm

[19] No. Win tomorrow with Andy, then CC could pitch 3 WS games. Otherwise you have AJ starting the WS. shudder.

21 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:07 pm

[19] my first reaction is no -
- i think andy will do well, especially with the extra day of rest, so it is not as if cc is replacing say chad gaudin
- also i would prefer he can still line-up for game 1, the only way that happens is a game 6 win he doesn't pitch-in
- i'd also prefer he not face the same team 3 times in approximately a week, even though that will be what happens if this goes 7
- and if he happens to lose game 6, we turn to andy in game 7 after extended rest and whatever feelings he has about being skipped

i certainly get wanting to turn to cc though

22 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:09 pm

btw, it is raining as hard as it has any point today in upper manhattan

23 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:13 pm

[22] Cloudy and drizzly here too..miserable way to get up; bad weather + no game..

NO CC in game 6 please..that's a panic move.

24 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:15 pm

[20] I'd still start Pettitte tomorrow, but if Sabathia started and won tomorrow, I think Pettitte starts the World Series.

25 Rich   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:17 pm

[22] In Northern NJ as well.

26 JeremyM   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:21 pm

I hope this doesn't lead to Weaver shutting the Yanks down in game 6- if he gets the start. I'll never forgive the rain!

27 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:27 pm
28 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 24, 2009 7:31 pm
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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver